Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri watches over a training session.
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri watches over a training session. TIM KEETON

Ranieri defends struggling Leicester players

FOOTBALL: Manager Claudio Ranieri has put the heat on Leicester City ahead of its Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen early tomorrow morning (AEST).

The defending English Premier League champions have struggled in the early part of this season after their dream run to the domestic title as 5000-1 outsiders last season.

They sit 13th after losing four of their eight EPL matches and drawing another two.

They have fared better in the Champions League, however, where they top Group G with two wins in two games.

Ranieri said: "At this moment this (the Champions League) is the priority.”

Ranieri denied his team, coming off a 3-0 loss to Chelsea, lacked fight, and it was more a case of the fact "everybody knows us” now.

"They are human, not machines,” Ranieri said. "We will have to give the best performance of the season, it is very important for us to get three points. We have to be strong, playing with passion, with heart, with the support of our fans. It will be a hard match until the end.”

Among other games, Real Madrid hosts Legia Warsaw, and Bayer welcomes Tottenham.



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